What have I gotten myself into? – On finding ‘1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up’

I work at an independent bookstore in South Australia, and while I was tidying the other day, I stumbled across a thick, red, hardback book called ‘1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up’. Now, I am 21 (22 next week), am studying for my masters and manage not to eat ice cream for breakfast (most of the time), but I am really just a little kid in a big person costume. Most of the books I read – and working at a bookstore, I am an avid reader – are children’s books. I love them. There is just something about a children’s book that clicks with me the way most books written for ‘grown ups’ don’t. I can suspend my disbelief so much more with a children’s book, wrap myself tight up in the story, dive right into it in a way that I just don’t get from ‘grown up’ books. It doesn’t matter what age the book is supposed to be for – I can be as absorbed by Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ as I can by Philip Pullman’s Dark Material Trilogy. But where was I…

Oh yes, ‘1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up’. When I saw it, I immediately began flicking through it. There were old friends in there, books I had never heard of, and books that I wish I had read, but never got around to – like ‘The Wind in the Willows’. Yes, that’s right, children’s book enthusiast Georgi Paech has never read ‘Wind in the Willows’. Or ‘Anne of Green Gables’. Or ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, or ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’, or ‘Tashi’, or ‘How I Live Now’… There were so many books that I have missed out on, that I was dying to read. And ones that I had never come across before, but that looked just dandy…

That’s where the idea for this journal came from. What if I actually did try to read as many of the books in ‘1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up’ as I could? At least then I could claim that I was doing something productive with all that time I was spending reading. So that is what I am going to do.

First stop: finally getting around to reading Kenneth Grahame’s ‘Wind in the Willows’.



  1. Pingback: On Children’s Vintage Classics « 1001 Children's Books

  2. Pingback: On real dragons and imaginary meat-pies « 1001 Children's Books

  3. Pingback: On a knitted Narnia « 1001 Children's Books

  4. Pingback: On reading the same book but reading different stories « 1001 Children's Books

  5. Pingback: On banned books « 1001 Children's Books

  6. Pingback: On Abebook’s 50 books every 11-year-old should read « 1001 Children's Books

  7. Pingback: On meeting your book heroes. « 1001 Children's Books

  8. Pingback: On Cheating « 1001 Children's Books

  9. Pingback: On old friends « 1001 Children's Books

  10. Pingback: On Bears and Elephants and Pancakes « 1001 Children's Books

  11. Pingback: On choosing books by lucky dip « 1001 Children's Books

  12. Pingback: On iron fairy tales « 1001 Children's Books

  13. Pingback: On book diets « 1001 Children's Books

  14. Pingback: On books having expiration dates « 1001 Children's Books

  15. Pingback: About reading about yourself « 1001 Children's Books

  16. Pingback: On super libraries « 1001 Children's Books

  17. Pingback: On shiny new books « 1001 Children's Books

  18. Pingback: On writing and reading what you know « 1001 Children's Books

  19. Pingback: On unreliable narrators « 1001 Children's Books

  20. Pingback: On where the list of 1001 Children’s Books I Must Read Before I Grow Up (Too Much) comes from « 1001 Children's Books

  21. Pingback: On coming full circle | 1001 Children's Books

  22. Hi Georgi, I was very excited to find your blog today. You see I found 1001 Childrens Books a few years ago- I knew about it when it came out in 2009, and greatly anticipated it. I got it for Christmas that year and made a decision just like you, that I was going to read as many of those books as I could. And I’m still doing it. It’s a bit of a big task as you know, but such fun. My only disappointment is that they seem to have included a number of books that aren’t available in English. I was so excited about it all in 2009 that I started up a yahoo group to join with others keen on the same quest. We are a small but devoted band. You’d be very welcome to join us. We’re reading Jenny Nimmo’s The Snow Spider at the moment, and looking to our reads for next year (which is how I found your blog today). You’ve made great progress so far- if you’d like some reading company, please drop by and join us.


    I blog most of our books on my blog too. We just read Cirque du Freak for Halloween, and I blogged about that today.

    • This is so exciting! I’m so glad you discovered me. I look forward to having a read of what you thought about some of the books I’ve read so far, and inspire me on what to read next! I’ve joined the group, although I might not always read the same books that you guys are. Thanks for contacting me and I look forward to discussing lots more books with you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: